Seamus MacGearailt Profile Photo with Grey Background

Seamus MacGearailt

Technical Director
Maynooth University
Heneghan Peng
Co. Kildare


Roughan & O’Donovan provided full civil and structural engineering services for this 9300sq.m complex consisting of three individual courtyard blocks, three to nine stories in height.

The complex comprises seminar rooms, retail and social spaces, and 297 student bed spaces, in a variety of apartment types, all cleverly integrated with existing campus facilities.


Various structural solutions for building superstructure and envelopes were examined at design stage, including conventional insitu reinforced concrete framed construction (used as a cost comparison baseline), with particular emphasis on modular precast concrete solutions and constructability of options.

The buildings are framed in reinforced concrete and include rainwater recovery and surface water attenuation.  Exposed concrete walls were specified internally, with brick facing externally to fit in with adjacent buildings.

Modular construction methodologies were incorporated into the design, with prefabricated bathroom pods included. The pods were constructed of ultra-thin structural concrete and fitted out in Spain prior to being shipped to Ireland for final installation.

The project included a standalone energy centre to provide heating and ventilation to each of the three buildings. The buildings were subsequently awarded a B1 energy rating.

The development has several sustainable elements, including surface water attenuation, infiltration trenches, permeable paving and green roofs. A recycling centre was also incorporated within the works.

The units were handed over on a phased basis to allow students to gradually move in before the project was fully completed.


In recognition of the scale and complexity of the project, we allocated the role of project team lead and engineer to a longstanding member of our management team to minimise the risk of a change in key project personnel occurring during the project lifecycle.

All the works were carried out on a confined site, on a live university campus, close to other student residences and mature residential dwellings.

Services provided:

  • Civil engineering design
  • Structural engineering design 
  • Planning reports

Learn more about our work on residential projects